Right when Jake Owen was launching his career nationally, he went out on the Road and the Radio Tour with Kenny Chesney and Dierks Bentley.
It around the time Owen released his debut album Startin’ With Me and his first single “Yee Haw” was climbing the charts.
But not that long before that tour, he was just like every other fan, loving Chesney’s music and not having a clue that he was so close to joining him on the road.
In an interview with Billboard, Owen recalled seeing Chesney in concert, adding that he’s always been a genuine superfan.
“The first tour I went out on was with Kenny Chesney and Dierks Bentley back in about 2006,” Owen said. “In 2004, I was in college at a Kenny Chesney concert at a big arena with my girlfriend and my friends in college, and we were having a blast.
“To think that a year and a half later I was the opening act on the same guy’s tour, trying to pretend like a year and a half ago I wasn’t in the parking lot like every other superfan out there, having fun and trying to get as close to the stage as possible.
“There were days when Kenny would walk by and invite me on his bus – I had to pretend that I wasn’t a big fan, like I was supposed to be there,” he laughed. “I never really felt like I was supposed to be there.”
That may have been the case in 2006, but a couple of years ago, Owen told me that each time he joins Chesney on the road, he feels a little bit more like he belongs.
“The first time I played for Kenny, I only had about 20 minutes. The second time, in 2012, I had a little more. Now I have a whole hour,” Owen said. “And every song we play is a hit single.”